Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sue Patrick's Workbox System

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Sue Patrick and I must be kindred spirits of a sort. For years teaching preschool, I have used management systems to have children "clock in and out" of learning centers. I have organized materials into little boxes for them to complete in a certain order. I have used picture symbols since I was a child, helping my mom contact paper and velcro her speech and language educational materials.


Ms. Patrick has created an educational organization system that should fit all types of homeschooling families. It's called Sue Patrick's Workbox System. In fact, I think even classroom teachers could use this system to some extent. Even if I weren't homeschooling, I would use this system with my home childcare and preschool.

When I first heard of the Workbox System through homeschool blogs and yahoo groups, I thought the idea sounded familiar. When I saw Ms. Patrick's name on our list of The Old Schoolhouse reviews, I said "oh, please, please, please, let me be chosen for that review!"

Imagine how thrilled I was to open my inbox and see a download for Sue Patrick's Workbox System! This system of organizing a child's schoolwork into clear shoeboxes is detailed in Ms. Patrick's User's Guide.

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Some of the chapters are titled
The Benefits of Homeschooling, How a Day Works, Breaking Down a Curriculum for Success and Life Skills Foundations. There is also has a fantastic section on creating centers. I had not thought of using posters as centers, and I cannot wait to make some!

The Workbox System uses a specific physical structure that enables children to see the work that they are accomplishing. Although I plan to purchase clear shoeboxes for this purpose (in KY I have yet to find them for cheaper than $1 apiece, and I refuse to spend $36 on shoeboxes!), we have a little wooden shelf that holds 16 colored boxes that have worked just perfectly. As my hubby would say "Why buy something, when you can use what you already have!" We have two shelves, so as soon as I find the space, we'll separate them. But for now, Butterbean has the top 8 (yellow and blue) and Middleman has the bottom 8 (red and green).


Having taught preschool for many years, and using Circle Time as part of my homeschool/home childcare routine, I have tons of little calendar numbers in varying and seasonal shapes. To make things more appealing to the boys, I have used those cut-outs for the numbers on our boxes. Everything is personalized and I will probably change out the numbers every month or so!


The educational philosophy presented in the System allows for organization, well presented school materials, peace and independence. We have found in our house that it does just as the book suggests in regards to discipline. Butterbean is excited to get to work each day, and he doesn't get bored and frustrated. Middleman gets so excited to see what fun things are in his workboxes each day. He loves to find play-dough, stringing beads, lacing cards and dry erase boards for printing practice. We have even set up a little box for Babyman, who loves to do his "wookbock." I know he will do well when we have the larger system set up for him!


I could probably go on for days talking about Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I love the idea, and I hope to continue using it with all three of my boys. I think it might even work with my childcare with a bit of variance! Overall, I highly recommend this book. I am so glad I had the opportunity to review it!

Now if you're interested in finding out more about Sue Patrick and her fabulous Workbox System, you can check out her website. She has the basic forms you'll need to download and they're free once you order the book ($19.95 print, &19 ebook). There are also several different packages available for purchase, including the Starter Kit that includes the basic forms already laminated and velocroed (velcro can be used as a verb, right?!).

If you'd like some more opinions, check out The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Thanks for stopping by and reading mine and leaving a comment:) Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete